While in al-Hasakah we have been hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment in an apartment. Pomegranate trees outside, three bedrooms, squat toilet and comfy living room.
We are always the star attraction in town. Some really cheeky kids. Handed out pens and badges to them as well as taking their pics and showing them on the back of the camera.
Where ever we go out here the Hubble Bubble can be seen. In Damascus the first restaurant we walked into everyone was puffing away – no smoking bans in Syria that’s for sure. Even the ladies were getting stuck in which was quite a surprise.
Eventually the Syrians have persuaded all of us to have a go. They are designed apparently to cool the smoke so it is smoother than a normal cigarette. The tobacco that goes in is fragranced. Strawberry was grim, and double apple (the most popular) wasn’t that great either. You rent them out in the cafes and the staff come and pop hot coals onto the tobacco to keep it burning. You then have to drag heavily to get the smoke to flow down the long hose like pipe.
For the drive out to the desert this morning I got the MP3 player out for the first time. The Proclaimers seemed a good choice – even Yassen got into them and picked up some more Scottish phrases. Maybe Craig and Charlie need a Syrian tour!
Our convoy in a sandstorm